Vegan food Rome – the best guide to vegetarian Italy
When we thing about vegan food Rome, we think about Pasta and pizza, but is there more to it?
Rome, the eternal city, is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world!
If you come to Rome, you’ll notice you won’t need to step into a museum, since the whole city seems to be an open air exhibition of history and art. This is one of my favorite places in the world and every time I return, Rome grabs my heart. But this time, Rome grabbed my attention through my stomach.
Decided to learn more about the vegan and vegetarian foods in Rome, I took a very special Rome food tour. They have an unusual knowledge about vegan and vegetarian foods and are very happy to welcome vegans and vegetarians on their small group tours.
Vegan and vegetarian food in Rome, Italy
Forget all about the super crowded touristy restaurants in central Rome. We were going to explore the real deal, the real Roman food, where locals eat on a daily basis and family businesses thrive for generations. Some of the stores we visited were historical landmarks in the beautiful and very peaceful Testaccio neighborhood.
Opened since 1934, the Barberini cafe bar and pasticceria, has been making the life of Tescaccio sweeter. Vegetarians will love this place, but so will vegans!
This is a very local spot, where local Testaccinos with a sweet tooth like to come for a treat. You’ll find an amazing variety of traditional Italian home made pastries. This is the perfect place to start the day, enjoying the famous capuccino and a piece of cake.
This gourmet food store has been opened for 40 years and offers high quality products, from hundreds of different types of cheese, to a great selection of Olives, top quality olive oils, balsamic vinegars (some of them 100 years old!) and much more.
Apart from the impressive cheese varieties, you’ll find extraordinaire olives. I’ve tasted them and I’ll admit they’re my top favorite so far. And if you din’t know yet…. I’m crazy for olives. That would be my number one food choice if I would get stuck in a tropical island!
The selection of vegetables here are top quality, fresh, local and seasonal.
I rarely find artichokes during my travels. Romans love them, and they’re an integral part of the healthy Mediterranean diet we all adopt here in Southern Europe. I’ve tried one of these and…. mama mia!
I’ve been a vegan for 14 years, and let me tell you…Finding vegan pizza around the world is not an easy task. For most people, the more toppings they put on a pizza, the better. This drives any Italian crazy, as for Italians food is all about the flavors, freshness of the ingredients and simplicity.
Italy, is probably the best place in the world for vegans to find pizza. Simply ask for a “pizza Rossa” and you’ll have your vegan pizza. My pizza at Volpetti Piu was absolutely delicious. A typical thin crust and crunchy pizza with tomato sauce and herbs.
THE TESTACCIO MARKET
In most Mediterranean countries, the local market is the place where people go, not only to buy the most fresh products, but also to chatt and talk about the latest news. Markets have always been the center of most cities and villages, and the place to socialize and start the day.
The Testaccio market offered some of the most beautiful and varied vegetables I’ve seen in years. Italians still like to know where their food comes from. They love quality, freshness and locally produced products. This is something regular supermarkets can’t offer.
If you’re preparing a dish and come to the market for your veggies, you can simply tell the owner of your favorite stand what you’re planning to cook. They’ll tell you which are the best ingredients for your dish.
Where else in the world will you find baby Zucchini with flowers still attached and such great fresh and local Artichokes?
One of the best things about food tours, is the possibility to sample all sorts of local foods, with a knowledgeable guide which will tell you all about the history and anecdotes about each thing you try. Here, our lovely guide Kate, shared a tray off traditional fresh bread and showed us how to do a Bruschetta.
This was definitely my favorite sample of the day. Freshly made Bruschetta. The tomatoes were delicious and the bread so fresh. Did you know each Italian eats an average of 90kg’s of tomatoes a year?
Giant Olives and tomato salad. These are the biggest olives I’ve seen in my life so far!
Cannelloni anyone? Not vegan enough for me, but vegetarian enough for dairy lovers. At the Testaccio market you can actually buy freshly made cannelloni, prepared right in front of your eyes. They looked good, I wish there were vegan cannellonies there.
FLAVIO AL VELAVEVODETTO
This stunning restaurant serves real traditional and hearty Roman meals.
And what would a Rome food tour be, without the pasta? Once again, simplicity and flavor is the priority of a pasta dish. The sauce was absolutely delicious and the pasta cooked “al dente”. Forget about the mushy pasta people have a tendency to cook. You’ll get an evil eye if you ever tell an Italian you like it mushy.
This stunning bar opened in 1914 and it’s probably one of the most interesting landmarks in our Testaccio Food Tour. Armando’s family has been making some of the best gelatos since 1890! Their knowledge has been passing through generations and you can taste the love and dedication Armando puts on his Gelatos, which are made with 100% seasonal and local ingredients. No artificial coloring or preservatives. And why eat gelato when in Rome? Because they’re the best in the world!
There are two delicious vegan varieties, the strawberry / lemon was the perfect combination to finish my tour and cool down from the Roman warm weather. My stomach was full and I feel I’ve learned a lot from this amazing tour!
The vegan food Rome is absolutely delicious, varied and fresh. If you come to Rome, don’t hesitate in experimenting all the freshness of the traditional Roman foods.
Are you going to Rome and need to find accommodation? Take a look at Venere.com.
This amazing experience was a courtesy of Italy Food Tours. They run small guided groups through the non-touristy areas of Rome, offering unforgettable experiences and deep knowledge on each of the foods we sample. Italy Food Tours supports locally owned small business and helps the local economy thrive. For more info and to book a tour, visit their website!
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